The Plane Bae Problem by Harness Digital Marketing

As a business owner if you’re heading to the airport to catch a flight you’ve got a lot on your mind.

What you probably don’t think about is if you’ll be part of the next trending hashtag.

#PlaneBae – Plane Bae

That’s what happened recently when #PlaneBae was born. A romance was born on a flight after a woman asked to switch seats so she could sit next to her boyfriend. The man and woman sitting next to each other ended up talking the entire flight. And the person sitting behind them decided to post the entire thing on social media without their consent. At the flight’s end, thousands of people were following the viral love story. Without asking, the man and woman had become social media stars.

The story went well for the man. He went on a talk show. He revealed in the media attention. You can look him up on any search engine. He previously was a sports star and now is a personal trainer. It probably helped his business boom. Social media attention can help get more customers.

But for the woman? She ended up getting harassed. People tried to find out who she was, even when she did not wish to reveal her identity. Her social media accounts got flooded with messages, many of which made her uncomfortable. People tracked her down and showed up at places she went. She had to hire an attorney to get people to stop trying to get her to go public about who she is. She ended up shutting down her social media accounts completely. She didn’t get a say in what some consider a social media fairy tale. This story doesn’t give her a happy ending.

Social Media and Women

Women make up almost half the population in the United States. But we live in a different world from men. Social media makes it easy for women to be singled out. Almost all the women I know talk about the creepy friend requests from men they do not know. The unwanted messages asking them questions which they were never invited to ask in the first place. The harassment that comes from doing nothing else except being a woman instead of a man.

With social media, there is nowhere to hide. People can find you no matter where you run. The internet removes distances and allows creeps to cross continents. As a woman, you don’t have to do anything to get negative attention. With Plane Bae, the woman in this tale did nothing except talk to the man next to her on a flight. But it didn’t matter. People wouldn’t leave her alone, and now she is the one who is paying the price for a story she never asked anyone to tell.

This matters because whether you are a man or a woman, your clients and customers are women, or they all know women. Plane Bae can happen to anyone, anywhere. Everyone who has a smartphone can make someone into a social media star without their consent. People you know may have this happen to them, or if you’re posting content on social media, keep in mind that any post can go viral. You don’t want one of your customers to be an unwilling participant in a viral social media story they did not ask to be in. Especially when the results may differ greatly by gender.

No Going Back

At the end of the day what matters is not what is said, but what is done. The Plane Bae story played out, and there’s no going back. No matter how much it might be better if we could.

Want to learn more about Plane Bae and the dark side of social media? Check this out.

Blog| Harness Digital Marketing |

About Tom Harness

Tom Harness is the owner of Harness Digital Marketing, a digital marketing firm that works with businesses and organizations on Social Media, SEO, and Email Marketing. He is an entrepreneur and business owner with 20 years of combined experience in Education, IT, and Business. Tom is a U.S. Army Veteran and a Southern Illinois University alum. He also enjoys craft beers, his beloved Chicago Cubs, and his family.


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  2. The best solution for brand to grow nowadays is Digital Marketing so I think its very much essential for brands to go for digital marketing which will increase their awareness and Increase its sales.

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